Seeded Ruthvika, Lakshya storm into finals
Mumbai, Dec 2 (PTI) Eighth-seeded Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and qualifier Riya Mukherjee, both from India, will contest the women's singles final of the USD 20,000 Tata Open India International Badminton Challenge here tomorrow.
The men's final, also to be held tomorrow at the CCI's badminton hall, will be between sixth seed Lakshya Sen of India and unseeded Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand.
Ruthvika, on the comeback trail after missing the first half of the year because of injuries, was too good for M Thinaah and defeated the Malaysian player 21-17 21-9 in just 25 minutes in the first women's singles semi-final today.
Later, Riya had to put her best foot forward to down junior national champion Ira Sharma, conqueror of top seed Rituparna Das in the quarter finals yesterday, 24-22 11-21 21-19 in the second semi final lasting 55 minutes.
In the men's semis, Thammasin ended the run of India's Mithun Manjunath by notching up a 22-20 21-6 win in 35 minutes. Later, Sen outplayed second-seeded compatriot Abhishek Yelegar 21-10 21-12 in 28 minutes.
In the women's semis, SAF Games champion Ruthvika was ruthless in her demolition of Thinaah, who had knocked out third seed Yeo Jia Min of Singapore, and put herself one win away from regaining the title she had won as a junior in 2014.
Ruthvika, who had beaten P V Sindhu in the SAFG final in 2016 before the latter went on to win the silver medal in the Rio Olympics, said she missed the first half of the year due to injuries suffered at last year's International Challenge.
"I was to take part in the Tata Open last year but had to pull out after injuring my thigh and knee in the Hyderabad International Challenge. I was off the court till June this year when I took part in the Russian Challenge. I am not worried about my ranking (at present)," she said.
The second semi final between Ira and Riya, who had come through two rounds of qualifiers into the main draw, was bitterly fought with both questioning some line calls.
Ira trailed 13-18 in the opening game before she made a grand rally and drew level at 19. She saved a game point at 19-20 and then held a game-point at 21-20 with a drop winner but could not utilise it.
Riya drew level with a smash winner, held her second game point at 22-21 which was saved by Ira and then took the first game on her third game point with a drop shot that was netted by her opponent.
Ira bounced back and attacked well to win the second game easily.
The two players fought tooth and nail in the decider which was close till 19-all before Ira smashed wide to give Riya a match-point that was taken advantage of by the latter with a net-flick to the baseline to enter the final.
Women's singles (Semi finals): 8-Rutvika Shivani Gadde (IND) bt M Thinaah 21-17 21-9; Riya Mukherjee (IND) bt Ira Sharma (IND) 24-22 11-21 21-19.
Women's doubles (Semi finals): 2-Ng Tsz Yau/Yeung Nga Ting (HKG) bt Fan Ka Yan/Wu Yi Ting (HKG) 21-12 21-9; Ng Wing Yung/Yuen Sin Ying (HKG) bt 3-Putri Sari Dewi Citra/Yujia Jin (SGP) 21-15 21-10.
Mixed doubles (Semi finals): Hee Chun Mak/Yeung Nga Ting (HKG) bt 4-Pang Ron Hoo/Yen Wei Peck (MAS) 21-12 24-22; Chang Tak Ching/Ng Wing Yung (HKG) bt Tang Jie Chen/Liu Ying Goh (MAS) 21-16 21-15.
Men's singles (Semi finals): Sitthikom Thammasin (THA) bt Mithun Manjunath (IND) 22-20 21-6; 6-Lakshya Sen (IND) bt 2-Abhishek Yelegar (IND) 21-10 21-12